Who is Britain First’s Ashlea Simon?

28 03 23

This is an edited chapter from our 2022 Britain First report: ‘Britain First: Dysfunctional, Dangerous and in our Communities‘.

Ashlea Simon (AKA Ashlea Robyn) is Chair of Britain First, the North West Regional Organiser and, after leader Paul Golding, the group’s most visible and influential activist. Since joining the group in 2019, Simon has led numerous actions and headed Britain First’s recent electoral efforts, as well as taking on much of the group’s organisational duties. 

Claiming to be motivated by Brexit, Simon first emerged on the political fringes in early 2019 through her involvement in a UK “Yellow Vests” style movement, which was dominated by far-right activists and conspiracy theorists and gained notoriety for harassing Remain- supporting MPs and journalists around Parliament Square. 

During this time she was close to James Goddard, then the face of the Yellow Vests UK and a political rival of Golding. Simon also wrote for the far-right clickbait site Politicalite under the name “The Great Unsaid”. Simon sided with Britain First in the summer of 2019, during a period of conflict within Manchester’s far right. 

In step with her new organisation, she became increasingly extreme and conspiratorial, for example, writing in October 2019 that “the great replacement is real and deadly for the white brit”, referring to the bunk far-right theory that white Europeans are being “replaced” by a sustained influx of immigrants. Simon wrote the following year that:

“White people are being erased, defend your people and your homelands before you become a hated minority”; she also claimed in 2020 that “English people can’t be black, English blood is white”.

Ashlea Simon
Simon at a “Yellow Vests” protest

Simon has led Britain First activists to harass asylum seekers in their temporary accommodation, banging on hotel rooms and filming those living there. In 2021, she was tricked into leading activists to protest hotels where no asylum seekers were being housed, after being supplied a bogus list by members of the public. As explored elsewhere in this report, the group has links to Russia, and Simon herself travelled to the country with Golding for a “political visit” in October 2019.

Simon was one of Britain First’s three candidates in the 2022 local elections, standing in her home ward of Walkden North, Salford. After a sustained campaign in the ward, which was the party’s key target, Simon placed second with 508 votes (21.6%), beating the Conservative candidate but losing handily to Labour’s 51%. Last year, Simon also represented Britain First in the Wakefield by-election receiving just 311 votes (1.1%).

This year, Simon is once again representing Britain First in the Walkden North ward in Salford.

For more information on Britain First, check out our Britain First report.


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